Tag: Ruben Gonzalez

Gamecocks jump over TSU 48-13 in front of 23,413 fans

~ Photo by Sydney Sorrells
~ Photo by Sydney Sorrells

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State Gamecocks lived up to their No. 1 FCS rank as they defeated the Tennessee State Tigers 48-13.

In the home opener for the Gamecocks, and Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams, a record breaking 23,413 was in attendance at Burgess-Snow Field.

The Gamecocks (2-1) put on a show in front of their home crowd and won their first OVC game of the season in pursuit to a second straight OVC Championship.

Eli Jenkins led the Gamecocks with 162 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 95 rushing yards. Troymaine Pope tacked on 93 rushing yards and Josh Clemons ran for 67 yards with one touchdown. Miles Jones ended with two rushing touchdowns and Jarren Johnson recorded one rushing touchdown.

Ruben Gonzalez led in receiving with eight catches for 109 yards. Josh Barge and Markis Merrill ended with one touchdown catch apiece.

On defense, Joel McCandless led the way with nine tackles, two for a loss, and one sack. Chris Landrum recorded six tackles. Folo Johnson had four tackles along with Dawson Wells, Brandon Bender and DeBarriaus Miller. Miller recorded an interception along with Ra’Shad Green. E.J. Moss was in on a fumble recovery, while both Landrum and Joseph Roberts forced a fumble.

After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Gamecocks put the first points on the board in the second with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins to Merrill.

A defensive stop gave JSU the ball back leading 7-0. They would go up 14-0 with 3:14 left in the first half when Jenkins found Barge in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

Green’s interception set the Gamecocks up for another touchdown right before halftime. Jones ran in from two-yards-out to extend the lead 21-0.

JSU opened the second half with a 34-yard field goal by Connor Rouleau.

TSU would then get the ball and found the end zone for their first points on an 84-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers missed the extra point so the Gamecocks led 24-6 with 11:20 left in the third quarter.

The Gamecocks didn’t respond to the Tigers score and TSU scored again when they got the ball back. Tennessee State brought the lead down to 24-13 with another touchdown pass. This left 5:57 in the third quarter.

JSU responded quickly this time and went up 30-13 with a 2-yard run from Jones.

TSU got the ball, but turned it over as Miller caught an interception to set up Clemons 1-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks converted on a two-point conversion and went up 38-13.

Later, in the fourth quarter, Cade Stinnett converted on a 22-yard field goal to put the Gamecocks up 41-13.

The Gamecocks last touchdown came with 53 seconds left when Johnson ran in for 17 yards.

The Gamecocks dominated every phase of the game with first downs (32-9), total yards (576-208), and time-of-possession (32:15–27:45).

Next, the Gamecocks travel to play UT Martin in another OVC match-up on Sept. 26. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

OVC Champs clinch playoff birth

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The No. 3 Jacksonville State Gamecocks defeated Eastern Illinois 27-20 to claim the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and clinch a playoff spot in the FCS Playoffs.

The Gamecocks are now 9-1 overall and 7-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference. This is the first time in school history that Jacksonville State has posted a perfect 7-0 in the OVC.

Jacksonville State head coach John Grass has the most wins through 10 games than any JSU coach in his debut season.

The passing game was huge in the win as Eli Jenkins passed for a career best 288 yards and one touchdown. Josh Barge led the receivers with eight receptions, 153 yards and a touchdown. Ruben Gonzalez caught seven passes of his own for 113 yards. This was the first time the Gamecocks had two receivers over 100 yards since Nov. 3, 2001.

“We knew we were going to have to throw it coming in,” said head coach John Grass in the post-game interview. “Barge had his normal day, Eli played really, really well and it was good to see Ruben get going. He showed tonight what we thought he could do the whole season.”

DaMarcus James had another good game on the ground as he rushed for over 100 yards with a touchdown. James has a school-record of 17 career 100-yard rushing games.

On the defensive end, Darius Jackson and Jaylen Hill both had interceptions. Jackson returned his interception for a 27-yard touchdown. Michael Carlisle and Ben Endress both led with 10 tackles.

Jacksonville State scored on their first drive of the game in just two plays. It only took 41 seconds for Jenkins to find Barge on a 59-yard touchdown pass. JSU jumped up 7-0 early in the game. However, Eastern Illinois would find the end zone towards the end of the first quarter to tie the score at seven.

In the second quarter, Connor Rouleau kicked two back-to-back field goals to put the Gamecocks up 13-7. Then, after another defensive stand, Jacksonville State’s running back James found the end zone on an 8-yard run. JSU went up 20-7 at halftime.

In the third, Eastern Illinois scored 10 unanswered points to bring the score to 20-17.

It was early in the fourth quarter when Jackson intercepted a pass for the Gamecocks and returned it for a 27-yard touchdown. This made the score 27-17 until Eastern Illinois added three more points with a field goal. EIU had two more chances to score again, but the Gamecocks defense stopped them and held them to no yards on the last two possessions. The final score ended 27-20.

JSU will now head on the road to Cape Giradeau, Mo. to face Southeast Missouri in the last game of the regular season.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good week this week and go on the road and beat a good SEMO team and make sure we get one of the top four seeds and get to play at home,” said Grass.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Live stats and game information can be found at www.jsugamecocksports.com.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

JSU defeats Tennessee Tech 49-3

JSU Sportswire
                                                                                                                                   JSU Sportswire

Jacksonville State defeated Tennessee Tech 49-3 on last Saturday to make six wins in a row for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks’ offense had 335 rushing yards and 261 passing yards to make a total of 596 offensive yards.

The defense only allowed three points in the whole game. They also only allowed eight first downs and only 67 passing yards the whole game.

After a first quarter of no scoring for the Gamecocks, Jacksonville State scored 35 points in the second quarter. The 35 points in a quarter is a school record.

Miles Jones ran for nine yards into the end zone to put the Gamecocks up 7-3. Then, on a 1-yard run, running back DaMarcus James scored a touchdown to make the score 14-3 with 10:24 left in the second quarter. The next drive for Jacksonville State would only take three plays and 26 yards. Christian Lemay found Anthony Johnson on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The pass extended the lead 21-3. Troymaine Pope would then add a score with his 22-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks fifth touchdown of the quarter came with 40 seconds left. The drive lasted three plays and 42 yards. Eli Jenkins had connected with Ruben Gonzalez on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown gave Gonzalez his first touchdown catch of his Gamecock career. It also made the score 35-3 at halftime.

The game was pretty much over at halftime, but to add insult to injury, the Gamecocks scored two more touchdowns in the second half. Lemay would throw another touchdown pass to Johnson. This time the pass went for 28 yards. The score would be 42-3 at the end of the third quarter.

The second touchdown came in the fourth where Jones scored on a 2-yard run. The Gamecocks last touchdown drive consisted of 13 plays and 52 yards.

JSU is now No.5 in both the Top 25 FCS Coaches Poll and in The Sports Network Top 25 football poll. The Gamecocks record stands at 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the OVC.

Jacksonville State will now get ready for their Homecoming game as they will face Austin Peay on Saturday at 3 p.m.

“We will have good Homecoming week with a lot of folks coming back to campus. We have to do our job and be ready to play,” said head coach John Grass.

Tickets are available by calling the JSU Athletic Ticket Office at 256-782-8499 or online at JSUGamecockSports.com.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

Tough debut for Grass ends with a loss

~ JSU Sportswire
                                                          ~ JSU Sportswire

The Gamecocks lost 45-7 to the Spartans in the debut of new head coach John Grass. 

It was clear to see that the Jacksonville State Gamecocks were outmatched by the Spartans of Michigan State. Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champion and a serious contender to be in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

JSU came out strong with the first play of the game. It was a 32-yard pass from quarterback Eli Jenkins to wide receiver Josh Barge. That play turned out to be the Gamecocks longest play of the game. However, they did not score on that drive.

The Gamecocks scored their only touchdown in the third quarter when Max Shortell completed a 9-yard pass to Markis Merrill. Freshman placekicker Conner Rouleau scored his first point as a Gamecock with the extra point. The drive consisted of 9 plays and 54 yards.

Michigan State scored 38 of their 45 points in the first half. Connor Cook completed 2 passing touchdowns to Tony Lippett and a third one to AJ Troup. The three passing touchdowns consisted of 64, 71 and 17 yards. Nick Hill scored twice on a 17-yard run and an 8-yard run. Michael Geiger ended the half with a 35-yard field goal. Michigan State last touchdown came in the third quarter when Tyler O’Connor ran it in for three yards.

The Gamecocks had a low total of 22 rushing yards to Michigan State’s 211 rushing yards. DaMarcus James of the Gamecocks had no touchdowns, snapping a streak of 12-straight games with at least one rushing touchdown.

There were 11 Gamecocks that made their first career start on Friday’s game vs. Michigan State. The four on offense were Ruben Gonzalez, Justin Lea, Casey Dunn and Bo Brummel. The seven on defense were LaMichael Fanning, Devaunte Sigler, Tre Garland, Michael Carlisle, Folo Johnson, DeBarriaus Miller and Jaylen Hill.

Bo Brummel caught a 6-yard pass from Jenkins to give him his first career catch in a JSU uniform. Ruben Gonzalez also made his first career catch as a JSU player with a 23-yard pass from Shortell.

JSU senior linebacker Ben Endress recorded 10 tackles which led all defenders.  This marked his third-career double-digit tackle game.

John Grass became the first coach in Jacksonville State history to face an FBS opponent in his debut with the Gamecocks.

There were 75,127 in attendance at the game. This marks the second-largest crowd to ever watch the Gamecocks play behind 82,691 at Florida on Nov. 17, 2012.

Next up for Coach Grass and the Gamecocks is Chattanooga. The game will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Marvel Robinson 
Sports Editor